Needful Things by Stephen King (1991)

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This is a re-read, I read it years ago but had forgotten a lot of it. Reading it again stuff started to come back, like revisiting an old friend you haven't seen for ages.
This is quite a big book, 790 pages, but it just flows and before you know it you're halfway through. Its not that its easy reading, like easy listening music; it isn't. There are some truly horrific scenes in this book, and quite a lot of foul language, but so does real life. But there is also a joy in the pages. The joy of clear, accomplished writing. And you believe that the people of Castle Rock are real. That this stuff actually happened.
That's Stephen King's gift.
Like it says on the cover, Words are his power.
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Rodders

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I have read this and i remember enjoying it. Weren't there four stories in this books. I remember Needful Things being quite enjoyable and i think one called The Langoliers. Can you remind me what the other two were?
 

nixie

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I have read this and i remember enjoying it. Weren't there four stories in this books. I remember Needful Things being quite enjoyable and i think one called The Langoliers. Can you remind me what the other two were?
No, Needful Things was a full novel. Your thinking of Four Past Midnight, the stories are; The Langoliers, Library Policeman, The Sundog and Secret Widow, Secret Garden. I've probably got the order wrong.
 

Rodders

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Yes, you are right. I did say it was a long time. :) What a wilf!

Okay. I did enjoy it, though and thought it was quite a nice dig at our obsession with having stuff.
 

Dan Jones

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This is a re-read, I read it years ago but had forgotten a lot of it. Reading it again stuff started to come back, like revisiting an old friend you haven't seen for ages.
This is quite a big book, 790 pages, but it just flows and before you know it you're halfway through. Its not that its easy reading, like easy listening music; it isn't. There are some truly horrific scenes in this book, and quite a lot of foul language, but so does real life. But there is also a joy in the pages. The joy of clear, accomplished writing. And you believe that the people of Castle Rock are real. That this stuff actually happened.
That's Stephen King's gift.
Like it says on the cover, Words are his power.
View attachment 88216

One of my favourite King novels. Absolutely nadgers-out insane, it's the culmination of his Castle Rock cycle of novels, and he throws the kitchen sink, the kitchen and the underfloor plumbing at it. This is a great example to use when people argue that characters ought to be likeable. These people are largely grotesque, albeit perhaps in our weaker moments we might say There But For The Grace Of God Go I. And Leland Gaunt is a wonderfully creepy antagonist.

I did a guest spot on The Constant Reader Podcast a while back, and Needful Things was the book I chose to talk about. Great fun, and Richard was really knowledgeable.


Also (plug alert!) Richard reciprocated by guesting on last month's episode of Chronscast. Also worth a listen (but then I would say that).
 

worldofmutes

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I read this book the first year I moved into my old house! It was quite a task, for such a heavy paperback. Leland Gaunt is a very unique character in King’s universe. Haven’t seen one like him. It’s radical that he does it all just for kicks, he must be some kind of trickster spirit, right?
 

AE35Unit

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I read this book the first year I moved into my old house! It was quite a task, for such a heavy paperback. Leland Gaunt is a very unique character in King’s universe. Haven’t seen one like him. It’s radical that he does it all just for kicks, he must be some kind of trickster spirit, right?
Yes, a demon
 

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